After the batik workshop this weekend at Southwest School of Art, I took a mental and culinary vacation yesterday and created a feast for Dias de los Muertos -- I know, some people might think cooking for 10 hours scarcely a vacation day, but it is for me. I guess I would call it the zen of cookery. If you are focused on the chopping, toasting, roasting, grinding, mixing, stirring, spreading, steaming, and tasting there is not much room for any worries, doubts or self-incriminations. Sounds like vacation to me (maybe even better since I can get a little bit "dmn, I should be doing xyz" when I am sitting on a beach towel).
And when one is foolish enough to decide to make Oaxacan Mole and tamals, then it is 10 hours of chopping, toasting, roasting, grinding, mixing, stirring, spreading, steaming, and tasting. Then the neighbors and family came and we devoured it all in the candle light of the Altár and our dear and departed guests in the photos there felt totally present, too.
These are the gifts of the season for me -- the making and sharing of food -- certainly as much an artform as anything I create with fabric and stitch. The fall colors on the table, with big bowls and platters taken down from the shelf. bright swatches of table linens -- we layered our porch table with Mexican fabrics and dressed all the chairs in huipiles from Mexico and Guatemala, then marched a set of folk art animales down the center, lit with votives.
The weather cooperated, with a wonderful mild evening perfect for the porch -- winter arriving (temporarily for us) a few hours later as a gusty wind and rain blew in from the north.